Doctors warn against homemade baby formula

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 7:30 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -As the national shortage of baby formula continues, some parents may turn to homemade substitutes to feed their babies. But that comes with a huge risk.

For some parents, it’s a mad dash to find formula. Shelves are bare or almost there inside stores and pharmacies. The continued nationwide baby formula shortage is due to supply chain issues and a massive recall by the FDA of several popular brands due to potential bacterial infections.

“I remember going to Sam’s to return those canisters and going straight across the street to Walmart just to see what I could find in stock, because people just started buying it up and it kind of just snowballed since then,” Stephanie Qualls, a local mother said.

Because of the shortage, state health leaders are warning parents about the dangers of making homemade baby formula.

“Even small changes in the formula itself can cause electrolyte imbalances. So things like your sodium and potassium levels in your blood that can potentially be deadly,” Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health said.

Dr. Stubblefield, who’s also a pediatrician, also warns against making your supply stretch. He and other doctors say you need to prepare the formula exactly as directed on the can.

“Anytime that you add or subtract water from a formula, you change its nutritional density and content especially for younger children or infants. That can be very dangerous because of the way their kidneys are different from adults,” Stubblefield said.

If your child is over six months, you can start him or her on solid foods, but doctors say make sure you talk with your pediatrician or a dietician before doing so.


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